This week’s Star Showcase: the Founding Four

14 Sept 2018

Founder faculty awards

This week’s Star is not one but four people: our Founders Peter Fletcher, Doug MacMahon, David Stewart and Sue Thomas.

Their initial idea was to develop a new kind of educational model which would both upskill and support clinicians in their clinical knowledge of Parkinson’s but also see practical changes in service quality and delivery.

Hoping to deliver just one or two courses, the MasterClass now celebrates its 16th birthday, having supported over 1,500 clinicians in their journey with Parkinson’s and spurring 75% of attendees to develop their own Parkinson’s services locally. It has been a core part of the ‘revolution of care’ in Parkinson’s over the past decade or so, and its success has prompted similar educational models to be created for multiple sclerosis, dementia and palliative care specialisms.

From the first course, the Founding Four set the curriculum, modifying it according to the learning of their delegates identified ahead of time, and making sure that there is practical applications for all areas of the learning and mentoring to support them in their clinical practice as their learning becomes action.

Watching their initial delegates progress to consultants, specialists, mentors and now faculty themselves has been a very rewarding part of the MasterClass for all of our Founders, though they all have different individual highlights from their years with the Parkinson’s Academy.

Whilst that initial MasterClass course has now developed considerably under the direction of Sarah Gillett the Managing Director, who has been with the Academy since day one, the Faculty's support has remained throughout. Peter Fletcher and Sue Thomas remain very active with the Neurology Academy, with Peter leading the Parkinson’s division as Academic Director and Sue continuing her support through the range of regional events which encourage service transformation locally.

Whilst the MasterClass has been an important element of each Founder’s career, the extent of the impact that these four individuals have had on the landscape of Parkinson’s - and indeed healthcare in general - cannot be overstated. Their incredible contributions to service transformation, education, support and patient care undoubtedly make each of them MasterClass Stars in their own right.

Dr Peter Fletcher: Proud to have spearheaded a new way of learning

Dr Peter Fletcher

‘Giving challenging learning outcomes that will change things at a grassroots level, and keep changing them - that’s what makes a difference to people with Parkinson’s’

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Dr Doug MacMahon: Proud to have enabled better outcomes for people with Parkinson’s

Dr Doug MacMahon

‘All elements of my work come together to achieve the same objective: better care and better outcomes for people living with Parkinson’s.’

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Dr David Stewart: Proud to be part of the revolution in care

Dr David Stewart

‘People with Parkinson’s deserve holistic management by a whole team of specialist medical practitioners - and now they get that.’

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Sue Thomas: Proud to have shaped service change nationwide

Sue Thomas

‘Data can be very powerful when it’s used at a local level - for clinicians to be able to talk to commissioners in their own language and give evidence through data is very powerful indeed.’

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Uniquely practical education, producing specialist clinical leaders transforming local healthcare

Neurology Academy is an innovative educational provider for healthcare professionals including consultants, specialist nurses, pharmacists, therapists and other allied health professionals. Our courses are developed by practicing specialists who combine their experience and expertise into case-based learning designed to create specialists in their field with confidence in effecting change.